January 14, 2020
We've curated a selection of extraordinary boutique hotels in Paris — chosen by our experts and rated by our guests after verified stays — and included the latest MICHELIN Guide star-rated restaurants nearby. Tablet Hotels is your source for discovering the world's most interesting boutique hotels (we've been doing this for 20 years and now we're part of the Michelin family) — places where you'll find a memorable experience, not just a room for the night. Here's our top 10 Paris boutique hotels:
In Paris, one of the most-visited cities in the world, there are the old palace hotels, the new minimalist boutiques, and, as in this case, various shades in between. A newly minted classic, and a bit of a stylistic departure for Paris hotels, Hotel Daniel comes outfitted in a sort of Silk Road, east-meets-west theme — old-world Parisian interiors with handmade Chinese wallpapers, Oriental rugs, exotic fine fabrics and Syrian antiques.
It's a townhouse hotel, small and intimate, with just twenty-six rooms; none are exactly palatial, but the detailed, luxurious décor feels cozy rather than constricted. The location, near the Champs-Élysées, means the Daniel is perfectly placed for getting out — out shopping, out to eat, out to business meetings if you must — but staying in is no great struggle either, especially in the top-floor deluxe rooms, with views over the rooftops, or the fifth-floor Daniel suite, with its view of the Eiffel Tower.
This is how hotel minimalism is supposed to be done — instead of feeling stripped to the studs, Hôtel de Nell is imbued with a tranquil, understated warmth, and a depth of texture that's so often lost at other pared-down hotels. As ever, it's all in the details: the heated parquet floors topped with easy-on-the-toes organic wool carpets, black stone-walled showers you'll never want to get out of, and, in the better rooms, massive Japanese bathtubs carved from single blocks of raw marble and fitted with Oregon myrtlewood accessories.
Most rooms have views of one or the other framed by the picture windows, and whatever the view, there's plenty of natural light. If it's the tiniest bit out of the way (and really only the tiniest bit), the hotel more than makes up for it with a destination-worthy restaurant and bar. The former is the third La Régalade outpost by the acclaimed Parisian chef Bruno Doucet, a name that draws a food-savvy local crowd. It's a happy inversion of the usual Parisian boutique hotel norm of forcing guests outside the doors to find something to eat; here the city comes to you.
Hôtel Providence Paris is keeping things relatively quiet at the moment, in that sort of soft-opening way which, paradoxically, only serves to whet the appetite and heighten the anticipation. We'll tell you what we do know: the location, where the 10th meets the 3rd, is one of Paris's emerging hotspots, closer to Canal Saint Martin and the upper Marais than to any of the typical tourist destinations — it's largely uncharted territory for hotels, and there's no better feeling for a boutique hotelier than breaking new ground.
The result is at once stylish and serious, and so, for that matter, is the Providence's dedication to food and drink, those twin pillars of the Parisian good life. The hotel's café-brasserie is the real deal, opening onto a charming terrace, and the cocktail bar makes the Providence a proper destination. And you'll have your own little marble bartop in-room, complete with your own icemaker and the tools of the barman's trade — normally a hotel of the Providence's size is meant to be nothing more than a place to lay your head, but this, for once, is a boutique hotel where spending a night in is very much a live option.
Sometimes the name pretty much says it all. On one level that's true of the Grand Hôtel du Palais Royal, which isn't shy about pointing out that it's the only luxury hotel near the Palais Royal — in fact it overlooks the royal gardens, and is thus mere yards from the Louvre and the Tuileries as well. But on another level, the words "grand hotel" don't quite paint the picture they once did.
This one happens to feature a design by none other than Pierre-Yves Rochon, who draws from a sober palette and a wide range of historical influences to deliver a look that's utterly contemporary. This Grand Hôtel feels like the current last word in luxury hospitality design, and sums up the high-end Paris of today in much the same way the great grand hotels of centuries past were perfect summations of their own historical moments.
In Paris we're always on the lookout for something that shows a little restraint, whether that means understated style, unimposing atmosphere, or reasonably affordable rates. It's rare to find all three at once, but that's more or less what the Hôtel Keppler offers: a sensible amount of luxury, a surprising degree of quiet (for a hotel just off the Champs-Élysées), and interiors that manage to avoid excess in either direction, whether antique or avant-garde.
Though at thirty-nine rooms it's intimate enough, the Keppler quietly features a few bigger luxuries — there's no restaurant, but there is a sauna, a steam room, and a small gym, all of which might come in handy after a long day pounding the Parisian cobblestones. Better suited to a romantic getaway or a shopping expedition than a business trip perhaps, but executives lucky enough to have business in central Paris will likely have few complaints.
Studio 54, New York's most notorious nightclub, is an ancestor of sorts (via Ian Schrager) to the whole boutique-hotel trend. But imagine its Parisian equivalent shutting its doors for a renovation and actually becoming a luxury boutique hotel, and you've got the basic idea of what Les Bains is all about. In the late 1800s it was a public spa, and by 1980 Les Bains Douches was a bona fide den of celebrity-studded iniquity. And as of 2015 it's one of the most talked-about openings in the hospitality world.
In its edgiest incarnation it played host to the likes of Bowie, Jagger and Warhol. (Your editor knows it as the site of a famous Joy Division bootleg.) A young Philippe Starck was responsible for its far-out décor, and while it was shut down for structural work it became a venue for pop-up shows by underground street artists. It's quite a legacy, and its new owner, Jean-Pierre Marois, is the filmmaking son of the man who owned it during its glory years — so he's got a real interest in making sure it's true to its conception.
One of the most storied Parisian neighborhoods, Le Marais is known for its aristocratic distant past, its rather more debaucherous recent history, and its current status as one of the city's most artistic and creative districts. Hoteliers EVOK, the group responsible for Tablet favorites Brach and Nolinski, have taken inspiration from the most colorful aspects of the Marais, and the proof is in the name: Sinner evokes both the ecclesiastical orders who first established this district and the contemporary pleasure-seekers who visit it today.
Designer and architect Tristan Auer was given free rein to create a truly immersive experience, one marked by dramatic public spaces, opulent guest quarters, and a dash of the carefree optimism of the Seventies. The result is colorful, eclectic, and though tightly composed, far from minimal — less "urban zen" than invigorating sensory overload. It's vibrant and incredibly dramatic, but elegant all the same, and as plush as can be, in keeping with its hedonistic mission.
Though it's a newcomer to the Parisian luxury-hotel scene, the Hotel Bowmann has no trouble fitting in: it's a lively blend of classic Haussmannian architecture, modern furniture design, and contemporary decoration. The location — on Boulevard Haussmann, fittingly — is close to the Parc Monceau, and surrounded by a wealth of art galleries in the north end of the 8th. And the atmosphere, for lack of a better label, is "discreet luxury" — smaller and more intimate than Paris's officially designated palace hotels, it's nevertheless a thoroughly high-end experience, with no compromises made in either comfort or service.
In classic Parisian style the entry-level rooms are relatively compact, though spacious enough and more than a little bit plush. The Executives and Deluxes quickly add enough space to make a noticeable difference, and look out over either the hotel's garden or the Boulevard Haussmann. And the suites are positively capacious, all with separate bathtubs and showers, some with Eiffel Tower views, and the top-end suite spanning 100 square meters plus an additional 100 square meters of terrace, complete with a jacuzzi and a panoramic view.
Suffice it to say that the Saint James is anything but typical. In Paris an hôtel particulier, a freestanding house, is unusual enough — something like the Saint James, almost a country-style château, surrounded by a wall and garden, is vanishingly rare. And now that it's open for business as a hotel, it's almost too much to take. Our English teachers taught us that something either is or is not unique — there are no such things as degrees of uniqueness. But then they've never stayed at the Saint James, which is, grammar be damned, one of the most unique hotels we've ever seen.
It's partly owing to the house's situation, to be sure, but most of the place's personality is thanks to the work of Bambi Sloan, an iconoclastic, self-taught Parisian designer whose work shows no regard at all for the uptight geometries and constrained palettes of the stereotypical "minimalist" boutique hotel. The common thread is a sensibility that's eclectic and whimsical but never kitschy or unserious; the spaces are full of unexpected detail but sophisticated all the same.
Tablet's been online long enough to see several evolutions of Philippe Starck's hospitality-design career, and with Brach Paris we find him in yet another mood — this hotel, in Paris's 16th, makes an unlikely sort of glamour from the materials of the 1970s, to suit the building's vintage. This means glossy wood paneling, leather, metal, vibrant patterns in earthy colors, and mirrors more or less everywhere.
Rooms, as you'd expect from Starck, are full of unexpected visual details, but their thoroughgoing luxury — marble basins, soaking tubs, automated blackout shades — make them feel eclectic rather than prankish. And the suites are particularly lavish, featuring terraces with 180° views of Paris, some of them facing the Eiffel Tower. In Starck's hands whimsy and high luxury go hand in hand, which makes for a memorable stay, to say the very least.
View our entire selection of Boutique Hotels in Paris
The MICHELIN Guide's starred restaurant selections for Paris:
Surprisingly quite a few hotels have pools in Paris. The top Paris hotels on Tablet that have swimming pools are:
Le Burgundy Paris Indoor
Brach Paris Indoor
Hôtel Fouquet's Barrière Indoor
Hotel Molitor Paris Outdoor
A good number of the boutique hotels in Paris allow pets, usually with additional charges. Be sure to check the hotel's amenities list.
Tablet Hotels merged with MICHELIN in 2018 and is the hotels component of the MICHELIN Guide. For more information visit our About Tablet section.